How to Live Victoriously (1)

W. Terry Varner
November 4, 2012

Who does not want to be victorious in life? We all want to be winners in our undertakings. Self-help books abound on how to be victorious in whatever endeavor we desire to under take.

I can share with you a formula for victorious living. Drawing for the guide book for man’s life, Paul writes: “Now thanks be to God, which ALWAYS causes us to triumph in Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:14, emp. added). The key word is ALWAYS and not occasionally, sometime, or often, but ALWAYS. The location of that triumph is found “in Christ.”

Of the many things that often defeat people, temptation is one of the greatest. Temptation is real. Temptation is not sin. Jesus was tempted (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-11). If you are tempted you are not evil, wicked, or unspiritual. Temptation has been with us since Genesis 3 when Satan tempted, seduced, and caused Adam and Eve to disobey God. The challenge is to be victorious. We sing: “Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin/Each victory will help you, some other to win.” Consider how you can be victorious over temptation.

First, what is the source of my temptations? We are tempted by Satan for us to fall into sin. He tempted Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11). We are also informed to “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts He any man” (James 1:13, emp. added).

If it is the case that we are tempted by Satan and that God does not tempt man, then how does man succumb to sin? James answers this question by writing, “every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed” (James l;14). In other words, the Bible teaches that succumbing to temptation begins within me. John writes our temptations come about by (1) “the lust of the flesh” (1 John 2: l 6), (2) “the lust of the eyes” (1 John 2:16), and (3) “the pride of life” (1 John 2:16).

An excellent biblical example of how this is in life is found in Joshua 7:21 with the man named Achan. Israel was to take no spoils from the battle. Israel engaged themselves in a battle in the small city of Ai and was soundly defeated. Trying to determine why and how they were defeated, it was revealed that a man by the name Achan “saw among the spoil a goodly Babylonish mantle, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a edge of gold of fifty shekels in weight, then l coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst ofmy tent, and the silver under it” (Joshua 7:21, emp. added). Consider the key words from Achan’s statement: “I SAW . . . ICOVETED . . . I TOOK . . .[I] HID.”

Second, each of us need to be aware and familiar with the various types of temptation. There are various types of temptation. Not all temptation is always obvious. When Satan sets a trap for us to fall into, he does not come to us dressed in a red suit and saying to us, “sin, sin, sin.” Satan is very crafty. He is very subtle. When it comes to deceiving us, Satan is quite the master. He uses various ways to cause us to succumb within to sin; e.g., the love of pleasure (2 Timothy 4:10), poverty (Proverbs 42:11), pride (Daniel 4;l0), riches (1 Timothy 6:9), and a host of other things. This is why we are to pray, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver is from evil [one]” (Matthew 6:13).